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kitplane01
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Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:21 am

Is this how others see it? JF-17 is a successful program that accomplished it's goals and the Tejas is a disaster?

  • Tejas

    India on Wednesday cleared the country’s largest-ever indigenous defense deal worth $6.5 billion for the purchase of 83 LCA MK1A Tejas light combat aircraft....indigenous content of at least 50 percent — and it’s expected that will increase to 60 percent by the end of the program....each jet will cost about $78.5 million ... Aircraft deliveries will start in January 2024 and will be completed by December 2028 -- https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/01 ... hter-jets/

    I rather thought that the Tejas I was a serious disaster. Over weight, under performing, and much more expensive than alternatives. Design started in 1990.

  • JF-17

    Meanwhile, the JF-17 program was started in 1999, and they have deliver over 150 since. 58% by value of the airplane is Pakistani, and the plane costs something like US$25M each. It's had some (small) export success.
 
Ozair
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Sun Jan 24, 2021 6:13 am

kitplane01 wrote:
Is this how others see it? JF-17 is a successful program that accomplished it's goals and the Tejas is a disaster?

  • Tejas

    India on Wednesday cleared the country’s largest-ever indigenous defense deal worth $6.5 billion for the purchase of 83 LCA MK1A Tejas light combat aircraft....indigenous content of at least 50 percent — and it’s expected that will increase to 60 percent by the end of the program....each jet will cost about $78.5 million ... Aircraft deliveries will start in January 2024 and will be completed by December 2028 -- https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/01 ... hter-jets/

    I rather thought that the Tejas I was a serious disaster. Over weight, under performing, and much more expensive than alternatives. Design started in 1990.

  • JF-17

    Meanwhile, the JF-17 program was started in 1999, and they have deliver over 150 since. 58% by value of the airplane is Pakistani, and the plane costs something like US$25M each. It's had some (small) export success.

Well that is one way to start a controversial thread... :shock:

I like the Tejas and think it is technically a better aircraft than the JF-17 although it is hard to deny the time differences with the programs. I wonder if India had been less ambitious initially and gone the JF-17 route of accepting initial lots with basic capability they would be in a better place.

Tejas had a whole lot of requirements creep and needed to lock down the design a lot earlier than they did. JF-17 benefited from having the Chinese as the main development partner and with all respect to India China has more capability today in manufacturing fighter aircraft.

It would be interesting to speculate if India had taken the Israeli Lavi prototypes instead of China where India would be today, with perhaps a J-10 type of aircraft in service or perhaps some of the issues Tejas presented would have been overcome quicker.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:30 am

Ozair wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Is this how others see it? JF-17 is a successful program that accomplished it's goals and the Tejas is a disaster?

Well that is one way to start a controversial thread... :shock:

I like the Tejas and think it is technically a better aircraft than the JF-17 although it is hard to deny the time differences with the programs. I wonder if India had been less ambitious initially and gone the JF-17 route of accepting initial lots with basic capability they would be in a better place.
,,,,
It would be interesting to speculate if India had taken the Israeli Lavi prototypes instead of China where India would be today, with perhaps a J-10 type of aircraft in service or perhaps some of the issues Tejas presented would have been overcome quicker.


Why do you think the Tejas is "better technically"? My impression is that the 2015 JF-17 is better technically in that it's operational,m and the 2023 JF-17 is better technically thanks to it's AESA radar. And I really think $25M is less than $78M,

As to the Lavi ... I'd look at how India managed it's Rafale buy and it's naval helicopter buy, and assume some sort of failure mode like those.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:16 am

Ozair wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Is this how others see it? JF-17 is a successful program that accomplished it's goals and the Tejas is a disaster?

  • Tejas

    India on Wednesday cleared the country’s largest-ever indigenous defense deal worth $6.5 billion for the purchase of 83 LCA MK1A Tejas light combat aircraft....indigenous content of at least 50 percent — and it’s expected that will increase to 60 percent by the end of the program....each jet will cost about $78.5 million ... Aircraft deliveries will start in January 2024 and will be completed by December 2028 -- https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/01 ... hter-jets/

    I rather thought that the Tejas I was a serious disaster. Over weight, under performing, and much more expensive than alternatives. Design started in 1990.

  • JF-17

    Meanwhile, the JF-17 program was started in 1999, and they have deliver over 150 since. 58% by value of the airplane is Pakistani, and the plane costs something like US$25M each. It's had some (small) export success.

Well that is one way to start a controversial thread... :shock:

I like the Tejas and think it is technically a better aircraft than the JF-17 although it is hard to deny the time differences with the programs. I wonder if India had been less ambitious initially and gone the JF-17 route of accepting initial lots with basic capability they would be in a better place.

Tejas had a whole lot of requirements creep and needed to lock down the design a lot earlier than they did. JF-17 benefited from having the Chinese as the main development partner and with all respect to India China has more capability today in manufacturing fighter aircraft.

It would be interesting to speculate if India had taken the Israeli Lavi prototypes instead of China where India would be today, with perhaps a J-10 type of aircraft in service or perhaps some of the issues Tejas presented would have been overcome quicker.


Nice reminder that the Lavi, full of sensitive US technology, ended up in China, yet I do not recall it being a massive scandal in the US, I can think of far less serious infractions by others getting them worked up and threatening sanctions, I guess when the one flogging sensitive US technology is 'the nation that can do no wrong' it's OK.

At an early stage in it's development, the Gripen was offered by SAAB for local development and production by HAL.
That would have been in service sooner, it seems pride, graft by HAL and it's political buddies, was more important than the horrible attrition rate of now aging Mig-21's. (See also 22 years from marking the BAe Hawk for advanced training and local production to delivery, whilst HAL made not advanced trainers and the aging TS-11's and Mig-21U combo and heavy pilot attrition).
 
Ozair
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:58 am

GDB wrote:

Nice reminder that the Lavi, full of sensitive US technology, ended up in China, yet I do not recall it being a massive scandal in the US, I can think of far less serious infractions by others getting them worked up and threatening sanctions, I guess when the one flogging sensitive US technology is 'the nation that can do no wrong' it's OK.

I don't think it was that drastic. China in the 90s was viewed by the US as a very different beast than it is today. There were clear limitations on technology and exchange after Tiananmen square but then I'm not sure the Israelis cared anyway, post cold war there was a lot of backdoor stuff happening across the globe.

kitplane01 wrote:

Why do you think the Tejas is "better technically"? My impression is that the 2015 JF-17 is better technically in that it's operational,m and the 2023 JF-17 is better technically thanks to it's AESA radar. And I really think $25M is less than $78M,

Better technically from a design perspective. The technology in the design of the Tejas such as relaxed stability, significant use of composites and its compound delta wing is IMO more advanced than the JF-17. The JF-17 is in many respects the culmination of the F-7 design which is not necessarily a bad thing, the Sabre II/Super 7 program was always meant to build on an existing design due to the low budget and intent for a basic aircraft.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Sun Jan 24, 2021 12:29 pm

I think the Tejas is difficult to contextualize as a 'single' model. Mk1, Mk1a, and on are quite different. It's more of an operational long term R and D program than a single production type, imho.

https://hushkit.net/2020/02/19/tejas-te ... -variants/

https://hushkit.net/2020/01/25/flying-f ... eev-joshi/

I can't see how some of that is propaganda (at the link/takes of the pilot), but I also see a lot more indigenous design effort, and more advanced technology being incorporated over the quite lengthy program's evolution through the decades. Anyway, I do favor the Tejas as a more robust overall aircraft, sort of a modernized F-16XL if you will, in planform/abilities, and likely to be developed (slowly) further.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Sun Jan 24, 2021 10:13 pm

texl1649 wrote:
I think the Tejas is difficult to contextualize as a 'single' model. Mk1, Mk1a, and on are quite different. It's more of an operational long term R and D program than a single production type, imho.

https://hushkit.net/2020/02/19/tejas-te ... -variants/

https://hushkit.net/2020/01/25/flying-f ... eev-joshi/

I can't see how some of that is propaganda (at the link/takes of the pilot), but I also see a lot more indigenous design effort, and more advanced technology being incorporated over the quite lengthy program's evolution through the decades. Anyway, I do favor the Tejas as a more robust overall aircraft, sort of a modernized F-16XL if you will, in planform/abilities, and likely to be developed (slowly) further.



It's been under development since (arguably before) 1984. That's 37 years!

I agree the Mk1 and Mk2 are very different.

If the point was to learn how to develop a fighter, 37 years is too long and too expensive. China did it with much more success, and while under much greater restrictions about working with western nations (Lavi acknowledged). China started serious modernization in the early 1990s (arguably before), and now has the J-20. Russia collapsed in 1989, and since then they've developed more than India. And Indian GDP is twice that of Russia!

Basically, I think Sweden and Pakistan have done great, and India has done poorly. I'd be interested in why India has done so badly, or an argument that India is not as bad as I think.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:56 am

kitplane01 wrote:
Meanwhile, the JF-17 program was started in 1999


It's a bit older than that. It is derived from the FC-1 and Super-7 projects, which go all the way back to the late 1980s, and really has its roots way back in the J-7.

Hushkit has an article from a few days ago with an interview with Andreas Rupprecht, author of a number of books on Chinese military aviation:

https://hushkit.net/2021/01/11/everythi ... rupprecht/

He notes, among other things, that India has a tendency to reinvent the wheel, whereas China relies more on derivative and evolutionary technology.

How does the Chinese approach to military aviation differ to the US approach?

Another difficult to answer question. In my opinion, China and its military are aligned with the United States in almost everything. At first this may be seen as a simple copying, but one could also say: China has great ambitions and the US systems and the structure of their armed forces have proven themselves in many ways. So why reinvent the wheel? (one of the most important differences to India, by the way). On the other hand, other factors play a role and these are responsible for the differences: first of all, the Chinese do not have exactly the same ambitions – for example to be a global policeman – or to carry out worldwide missions overseas (at least not yet). China is aware of its limitations, so cannot simply import all US military concepts. It also has its own social and historical factors that also play a major role. Finally, the technological gap with the USA is closing, which forces China to develop more and more its own solutions.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:37 pm

Oh good. Another thread that's going to destroy my productivity. You will excuse me if I don my patriotic hat for this one, although I will try and be as objective as possible.

Ozair wrote:
I like the Tejas and think it is technically a better aircraft than the JF-17 although it is hard to deny the time differences with the programs. I wonder if India had been less ambitious initially and gone the JF-17 route of accepting initial lots with basic capability they would be in a better place

A better understanding of Indian contracting and budgeting would show why that could never happen. In India the military has to fight for funding. Mil spending is politically driven, privileges jobs-programme-esque waste, etc etc. Contrast that with Pakistan where the military is firmly in control. It becomes much easier to secure funding, ensure outcomes, and manage programmes with less bureaucratic overhead.

By the nature of all the often lamented and far too numerous issues with Indian defence procurement on the other hand, if the IAF had accepted a stopgap LCA... they be flying and fighting (and probably losing) with it thirty years hence. They have to fight to get the best on day one, or they're screwed by their own system. See: Rafale.

Ozair wrote:
Tejas had a whole lot of requirements creep and needed to lock down the design a lot earlier than they did. JF-17 benefited from having the Chinese as the main development partner and with all respect to India China has more capability today in manufacturing fighter aircraft.

Another unfortunate fallacy that has legs simply because the Indian military, and the IAF in particular, is utterly rubbish at public affairs. They love obfuscation, hate transparency, and that gives their detractors plenty of room to shape the narrative. The IAF mandated changes only insofar as they related to obsolescence, which was a critical issue given that the LCA programme has taken some thirty years to bear fruit. For example, switching from the R60 to the R73 missile -- which should have been a trivial change in any other country, but required a massive redesign on the LCA because, well, that's a whole novel by itself.

Ozair wrote:
It would be interesting to speculate if India had taken the Israeli Lavi prototypes instead of China where India would be today, with perhaps a J-10 type of aircraft in service or perhaps some of the issues Tejas presented would have been overcome quicker.

The divide between the boffins and the uniforms was so vast, there would never have been any useful cross pollination of the sort you're referring to. And contra popular information, it was the civilians that resisted IAF involvement from the very beginning, while simultaneously blaming every problem, delay and setback on the lack of IAF guidance! This is still an issue, although much better today and improving constantly.

kitplane01 wrote:
Why do you think the Tejas is "better technically"? My impression is that the 2015 JF-17 is better technically in that it's operational,m and the 2023 JF-17 is better technically thanks to it's AESA radar. And I really think $25M is less than $78M


Apart from the "JF-17 is operational" argument, the Tejas is definitely the superior aircraft. It has better baseline performance and equipment. The Mk1A will have AESA, and the Mk.1s will get most of the Mk.1A mods when they cycle in for overhaul. When all is said and done (yes, a long way off yet) the IAF will own and control most of the LCA. That buys you a lot in O&S savings beyond the obvious sovereignty benefits. Otherwise everyone would just buy US/Russian/Chinese kit and not bother spending anything on domestic R&D or industry.

The PAF certainly deserves credit for their incremental development-fielding-upgrading approach, but my points above get into why that was simply not an option across the border.

kitplane01 wrote:
It's been under development since (arguably before) 1984. That's 37 years!

It's taken inordinately long, by any yardstick, but the 1984 date is not correct. From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, India suffered through the worst financial crisis in its history. There was little money spent and little work done on the LCA until about 1991, only meaningfully gathering steam around 1993. No one was twiddling their thumbs, but it was basically a science project until the first phase of development was approved and funding released.

Incidentally, the money spent on the programme to date is a tiny fraction of what it should cost to develop and field a credible 4G+ fighter. That's another issue with Indian planning -- everyone lowballs, because coming in with a realistic figure means your programme never gets off the ground. That's also why there are no consequences for delay or failure -- there is no real way for anyone to establish what was a realistic target (on the time v funds curve) in the first place.

kitplane01 wrote:
Basically, I think Sweden and Pakistan have done great, and India has done poorly.

It's hard to argue against this, honestly. Countries like Sweden and Israel punch way above their weight, and India underperforms horribly. I would caution against being too impressed by Pakistan's mil-industry achievements, however, because they are little better than what India was achieving in partnership with the Brits and Russians in the 1960s and 1970s. If 58% is your benchmark for domestic content, India exceeded that figure with just about every plane built since the MiG-21FL. The Mushak is a warmed over Saab Safari, and the JF-17, like it or not, is a Chinese product being co-produced by PAC. They do nothing else of note. Indian industry, particularly when looking beyond the state owned dumpster fires, is making parts for just about every western aircraft under the sun, and is inexorably racing up the value chain as it does so. Long term, that is going to pay off better for the country as a whole, as well as the IAF, than a handful of licenced products produced at Kamra.

VSMUT wrote:
He notes, among other things, that India has a tendency to reinvent the wheel, whereas China relies more on derivative and evolutionary technology.

Without the benefit of a ringside view, Andi is closer than he realizes. India is all about empire building. A fighter programme means DRDO gets to set up dozens of labs to make dozens of irrelevant things, creating hundreds of avenues for promotion, to say nothing of the, shall we call them "extra curricular activities" that are so rampant. COTS and MOTS are dirty words. The eggheads have convinced the political leadership that everything must be indian or you can kiss your sovereignty goodbye (which is, of course, nonsense). Then there are obvious nationalistic political benefits to waving the 100% domestic flag as well. Simply put, when fielding defence equipment is lower down the priority list than these asinine things, these inefficiencies are inevitable.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Mon Jan 25, 2021 6:08 pm

angad84 wrote:
It's hard to argue against this, honestly. Countries like Sweden and Israel punch way above their weight, and India underperforms horribly. I would caution against being too impressed by Pakistan's mil-industry achievements, however, because they are little better than what India was achieving in partnership with the Brits and Russians in the 1960s and 1970s. If 58% is your benchmark for domestic content, India exceeded that figure with just about every plane built since the MiG-21FL. The Mushak is a warmed over Saab Safari, and the JF-17, like it or not, is a Chinese product being co-produced by PAC. They do nothing else of note. Indian industry, particularly when looking beyond the state owned dumpster fires, is making parts for just about every western aircraft under the sun, and is inexorably racing up the value chain as it does so. Long term, that is going to pay off better for the country as a whole, as well as the IAF, than a handful of licenced products produced at Kamra.


:checkmark:

If the JF-17 counts as a Pakistani jet, then the Su-30MKI might as well count as India by virtue of being assembled in Nasik.

Not sure I agree that the Tejas is a better aircraft though. The Chinese have had a long time to mature and develop the JF-17. They have had AESA radars in service on aircraft for almost 18 years, and 3 years for fighter based arrays. Missile technology is likely way ahead of any homegrown Indian missiles. Pakistan itself might now be able to do much, but they are able to draw on the expertise of a defence budget that dwarfs India's by several magnitudes. Tejas is probably a better and more modern airframe, but everything in it needs to catch up.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Mon Jan 25, 2021 6:42 pm

angad84 wrote:
Oh good. Another thread that's going to destroy my productivity. You will excuse me if I don my patriotic hat for this one, although I will try and be as objective as possible.

kitplane01 wrote:
Why do you think the Tejas is "better technically"? My impression is that the 2015 JF-17 is better technically in that it's operational,m and the 2023 JF-17 is better technically thanks to it's AESA radar. And I really think $25M is less than $78M


Apart from the "JF-17 is operational" argument, the Tejas is definitely the superior aircraft. It has better baseline performance and equipment. The Mk1A will have AESA, and the Mk.1s will get most of the Mk.1A mods when they cycle in for overhaul. When all is said and done (yes, a long way off yet) the IAF will own and control most of the LCA. That buys you a lot in O&S savings beyond the obvious sovereignty benefits. Otherwise everyone would just buy US/Russian/Chinese kit and not bother spending anything on domestic R&D or industry.


I don't know that's true.

I would think the fair comparison would be the JF-17 Block 2 vs the Tejas Mk 1, and the JF-17 Mark III vs the Tejas Mark Ia. That comparison is biased in favor of the Tejas timeline-wise, but it's close.

The JF-17 Block 2 and the Tejas Mark 1 have the same top speed (Mach 1.6), about the same thrust-weight ratio (0.95 vs 0.94), and the same ferry range (3,500km vs 3,200km). In each case the JF-17 is a tiny bit better. Both have a non-EASA radar with a range of about 200km. But the JF-17 came first, is actually operation, and cost 1/3 the price. What's to like about the Tejas Mk 1?


As to the JF-17 Block 3 vs the Tejas Mark 1a ... the specs for neither can be found by me on the web. But the main changes for both are the same: More composites in the structure and an AESA radar. And again the JF-17 will come first and cost 1/3 the price. What's to like about the Tejas?
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Mon Jan 25, 2021 6:48 pm

angad84 wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Basically, I think Sweden and Pakistan have done great, and India has done poorly.

It's hard to argue against this, honestly. Countries like Sweden and Israel punch way above their weight, and India underperforms horribly. I would caution against being too impressed by Pakistan's mil-industry achievements, however, because they are little better than what India was achieving in partnership with the Brits and Russians in the 1960s and 1970s. If 58% is your benchmark for domestic content, India exceeded that figure with just about every plane built since the MiG-21FL. The Mushak is a warmed over Saab Safari, and the JF-17, like it or not, is a Chinese product being co-produced by PAC. They do nothing else of note. Indian industry, particularly when looking beyond the state owned dumpster fires, is making parts for just about every western aircraft under the sun, and is inexorably racing up the value chain as it does so. Long term, that is going to pay off better for the country as a whole, as well as the IAF, than a handful of licenced products produced at Kamra.


I'm willing to be educated. But what I read is that the JF-17 is 60% Pakistani, and the Tejas is 58% Indian. In both cases the big imports are the radar and engine. The big difference is that India designed the Tejas and Pakistan paid China to design the JF-17. Is that how you see it?

As to India manufacturing other planes ... that's other planes. It always seemed to me a fine way to convert many many $$$ to a few local jobs. And in a poor country with so many basic needs being unmet that sounds terrible. But I'm not an expert.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:41 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
As to India manufacturing other planes ... that's other planes. It always seemed to me a fine way to convert many many $$$ to a few local jobs. And in a poor country with so many basic needs being unmet that sounds terrible. But I'm not an expert.


Just a few jobs? In my experience, Indians are experts at employing as many as possible for whatever menial tasks they need done. But direct employment aside, those employees will be spending their employees will support more jobs out in society and so on etc. There's a reason the US is so desperate to claw every military contract in the world to themselves, it isn't menial how many jobs they provide, directly and indirectly.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:04 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Not sure I agree that the Tejas is a better aircraft though. The Chinese have had a long time to mature and develop the JF-17. They have had AESA radars in service on aircraft for almost 18 years, and 3 years for fighter based arrays. Missile technology is likely way ahead of any homegrown Indian missiles. Pakistan itself might now be able to do much, but they are able to draw on the expertise of a defence budget that dwarfs India's by several magnitudes. Tejas is probably a better and more modern airframe, but everything in it needs to catch up.

Ah, but would you compare Israeli AESA favourably against Chinese?
Israeli Derby/ER against what's on the JF-17?
Israeli HMDS against what's (not) on the JF-17?

Where Indian domestic options lag, they do still have access to the best of the west, which neither China nor Pakistan do. So when your domestic AESA or MRAAM effort falls short, or is delayed, there is always a plan B (albeit hard fought between IAF and DRDO!) whereas the other guy(s) just have to lump it.

kitplane01 wrote:
I would think the fair comparison would be the JF-17 Block 2 vs the Tejas Mk 1, and the JF-17 Mark III vs the Tejas Mark Ia. That comparison is biased in favor of the Tejas timeline-wise, but it's close.

You're right, and that's why I think the Tejas is the better bet. It has more room to grow, and over time will likely mature better versus the JF-17. There is also, I suspect, a limit to how much the Chinese are willing to invest into a second string project that principally serves a bankrupt country that is really starting to struggle to pay its bills -- including to its principal benefactor, China. Pakistan simply CANNOT go it alone on a frontline fighter programme, and if China wavers even slightly, it all grinds instantly to a halt. They also need China to quarterback the Russian engine supplies, which might be another headache to manage as things change in the US-Pak-China-Russia equation.

On the other hand you have India, which despite all it's bureaucratic inertia, has finally presented the LCA as fait accompli to both user and developer -- both of whom now have every reason to get their act together and make the best of the platform. There's only one way to go and it's up.

I'm not getting into top trumps, because that's a silly way to compare modern combat aircraft. It's a system v system comparison or don't bother.

VSMUT wrote:
Just a few jobs? In my experience, Indians are experts at employing as many as possible for whatever menial tasks they need done. But direct employment aside, those employees will be spending their employees will support more jobs out in society and so on etc. There's a reason the US is so desperate to claw every military contract in the world to themselves, it isn't menial how many jobs they provide, directly and indirectly.

Correct, hence my point that the payoff will be huge for the IAF and the country as a whole. It's not for s**ts and giggles that the IAF is doing everything it can to bring more privately owned companies into the aerospace sector -- and they've had some success with it too. When you have serious aerospace players in the country are more market oriented than the big state owned behemoths, you've won half the battle. Maybe not by the time of LCA, but certainly by the time of AMCA, this will pay off. We've already seen the state owned majors go from trying to strangle private businesses in the crib to enthusiastically cheerleading their coming of age -- they know the writing is on the wall and they have to play ball with the new guys if they are to see even a tiny slice of the pie in the coming years.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:23 am

angad84 wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Not sure I agree that the Tejas is a better aircraft though. The Chinese have had a long time to mature and develop the JF-17. They have had AESA radars in service on aircraft for almost 18 years, and 3 years for fighter based arrays. Missile technology is likely way ahead of any homegrown Indian missiles. Pakistan itself might now be able to do much, but they are able to draw on the expertise of a defence budget that dwarfs India's by several magnitudes. Tejas is probably a better and more modern airframe, but everything in it needs to catch up.

Ah, but would you compare Israeli AESA favourably against Chinese?
Israeli Derby/ER against what's on the JF-17?
Israeli HMDS against what's (not) on the JF-17?


I read that both radars go out to 160/200km. Why would a Derby/ER be any better or worse than a PL-12? I doubt either of us has the data to know. The PL-15 has a range of 200km, which is beyond anything I think the Tejas will carry. I don't see a large tactical advantage either way, except that the JF-17 can carry a very long range missile, and that 3 JF-17s are much much better than 1 Tejas, which is the equal value rate.

I read that the JF-17 Block 3 has a helmet mounted display.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:25 am

kitplane01 wrote:
I would think the fair comparison would be the JF-17 Block 2 vs the Tejas Mk 1, and the JF-17 Mark III vs the Tejas Mark Ia. That comparison is biased in favor of the Tejas timeline-wise, but it's close.


angad84 wrote:
You're right, and that's why I think the Tejas is the better bet. It has more room to grow, and over time will likely mature better versus the JF-17. There is also, I suspect, a limit to how much the Chinese are willing to invest into a second string project that principally serves a bankrupt country that is really starting to struggle to pay its bills -- including to its principal benefactor, China. Pakistan simply CANNOT go it alone on a frontline fighter programme, and if China wavers even slightly, it all grinds instantly to a halt. They also need China to quarterback the Russian engine supplies, which might be another headache to manage as things change in the US-Pak-China-Russia equation.



Both planes weigh nearly the same, and have about the same thrust.

I thought that Pakistan was paying for the development, but I admit I cannot find a web reference either way. But after more than 20 years of success, I don't see a sudden stoppage. Besides, JF-17 development is mostly find-a-chinese-subsystem-and-install-it (this describes both the engine update and the radar update, but not the increased use of composites).

I would wonder if $1B spent the Pakistani way is worth the same development as $3B spent the Indian way. The Tejas program really seems to be inefficiently run. The JF-17 has fighters in operation and the Tejas is a development program.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:26 am

(Duplicate please delete sorry)
Last edited by kitplane01 on Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:27 am

kitplane01 wrote:
angad84 wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Just a few jobs? In my experience, Indians are experts at employing as many as possible for whatever menial tasks they need done. But direct employment aside, those employees will be spending their employees will support more jobs out in society and so on etc. There's a reason the US is so desperate to claw every military contract in the world to themselves, it isn't menial how many jobs they provide, directly and indirectly.

Correct, hence my point that the payoff will be huge for the IAF and the country as a whole. It's not for s**ts and giggles that the IAF is doing everything it can to bring more privately owned companies into the aerospace sector -- and they've had some success with it too. When you have serious aerospace players in the country are more market oriented than the big state owned behemoths, you've won half the battle. Maybe not by the time of LCA, but certainly by the time of AMCA, this will pay off. We've already seen the state owned majors go from trying to strangle private businesses in the crib to enthusiastically cheerleading their coming of age -- they know the writing is on the wall and they have to play ball with the new guys if they are to see even a tiny slice of the pie in the coming years.


I've not been to India. But I understood there were people with some real basic human needs being unmet. The many billions of $$$ could have saved lives, and bought college educations for an awful lot of people. These sorts of expenditures come at a very human cost. ( I would write the same thing about the recent American space program.)
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Tue Jan 26, 2021 6:36 am

angad84 wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Not sure I agree that the Tejas is a better aircraft though. The Chinese have had a long time to mature and develop the JF-17. They have had AESA radars in service on aircraft for almost 18 years, and 3 years for fighter based arrays. Missile technology is likely way ahead of any homegrown Indian missiles. Pakistan itself might now be able to do much, but they are able to draw on the expertise of a defence budget that dwarfs India's by several magnitudes. Tejas is probably a better and more modern airframe, but everything in it needs to catch up.

Ah, but would you compare Israeli AESA favourably against Chinese?
Israeli Derby/ER against what's on the JF-17?
Israeli HMDS against what's (not) on the JF-17?

Where Indian domestic options lag, they do still have access to the best of the west, which neither China nor Pakistan do. So when your domestic AESA or MRAAM effort falls short, or is delayed, there is always a plan B (albeit hard fought between IAF and DRDO!) whereas the other guy(s) just have to lump it.


Sure, but then again, its not like the Chinese don't have a habit of doing that as well, when they can't deliver something suitable themselves. The JF-17 is powered by a Russian engine after all. On the weapons side, Israel sold the license production rights to the Python-3 to Israel. It already uses American precision bombs, a Brazilian SEAD missile and older AIM-9 variants. Reportedly the Pakistani AF uses the South African R-Darter missile on it. It can probably utilize a wide range of Russian weapons with minimal work required. Although the exact extent is unclear, it clearly isn't a one-trick pony in this regard. Not to mention that China has several AESA radars and missiles on the go. JF-17 users also have a plan B.


kitplane01 wrote:
I've not been to India. But I understood there were people with some real basic human needs being unmet. The many billions of $$$ could have saved lives, and bought college educations for an awful lot of people. These sorts of expenditures come at a very human cost. ( I would write the same thing about the recent American space program.)


You don't get one without the other. College graduates need a job, there has been unemployment among them in the late years. Schools benefit from industrial cooperation.

They are also only the top of the pyramid. The money will trickle down through all the jobs they end up supporting. That is basic John Maynard Keynes. For example, just by having lunch delivered by dabbawala, your college graduate will already be supporting several jobs directly. The dabbawala will then be able to buy food for himself, thereby supporting some people who are selling food, who in turn will be supporting the farmers. I am not experienced enough with India to say for certain, but it wouldn't surprise me if a college educated HAL engineer directly and indirectly supports over 100 people like this.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:17 am

VSMUT wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
I've not been to India. But I understood there were people with some real basic human needs being unmet. The many billions of $$$ could have saved lives, and bought college educations for an awful lot of people. These sorts of expenditures come at a very human cost. ( I would write the same thing about the recent American space program.)


You don't get one without the other. College graduates need a job, there has been unemployment among them in the late years. Schools benefit from industrial cooperation.

They are also only the top of the pyramid. The money will trickle down through all the jobs they end up supporting. That is basic John Maynard Keynes. For example, just by having lunch delivered by dabbawala, your college graduate will already be supporting several jobs directly. The dabbawala will then be able to buy food for himself, thereby supporting some people who are selling food, who in turn will be supporting the farmers. I am not experienced enough with India to say for certain, but it wouldn't surprise me if a college educated HAL engineer directly and indirectly supports over 100 people like this.


You could hire people to build jet fighters, or affordable housing. Both employ people, and do trickle down economics. One also builds affordable housing. "The political problem of mankind is to combine three things: economic efficiency, social justice and individual liberty." -- John Maynard Keynes.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:13 am

kitplane01 wrote:
You could hire people to build affordable housing.


That would put professional house building firms out of business.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:29 am

I am amazed that the IAF still has only 2 Tejas squadrons.

Will it reach the squadrons before it becomes obsolete?.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Tue Jan 26, 2021 2:40 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
I would wonder if $1B spent the Pakistani way is worth the same development as $3B spent the Indian way. The Tejas program really seems to be inefficiently run. The JF-17 has fighters in operation and the Tejas is a development program.

This is a great way to distill the essence of the question down. The answer isn't so simple, however.
From a pure force structure perspective, the PAF will be happier with the $1B spent on the JF-17. It gets them a reasonable fighter in sufficient numbers, all delivered exceptionally quick. From the IAF perspective, the opposite is true.

However, does the nation of Pakistan benefit from this approach versus the nation of India? Absolutely not. PAC is doing nothing new with the JF-17. They've been doing D-level work on 3rd and 4th gen fighters for years, and the JF-17 is simply an extension of that, not really a major improvement in capability. OTOH, India has stood up an entire aerospace industry around both its foreign acquisitions, as well as its domestic LCA programme over the past 20-odd years. That approach serves not only to deliver a fighter (albeit delayed and of modest capability) but also to secure its industrial future, and by extension, its operational future. 50% of the content of the aircraft might be foreign, but 100% of the design IP is Indian, along with 50% of the component IP. You cannot put a price on owning your own FBW. That sort of thing pays off for decades, well past a single programme.

I'm not going to get into various countries' spending priorities, except to say if anyone thinks India or the USA need to re-prioritize spending, then you really should take a closer look at Pakistan lest you come across as utterly ignorant.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Tue Jan 26, 2021 6:57 pm

angad84 wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
I would wonder if $1B spent the Pakistani way is worth the same development as $3B spent the Indian way. The Tejas program really seems to be inefficiently run. The JF-17 has fighters in operation and the Tejas is a development program.

This is a great way to distill the essence of the question down. The answer isn't so simple, however.
From a pure force structure perspective, the PAF will be happier with the $1B spent on the JF-17. It gets them a reasonable fighter in sufficient numbers, all delivered exceptionally quick. From the IAF perspective, the opposite is true.

However, does the nation of Pakistan benefit from this approach versus the nation of India? Absolutely not. PAC is doing nothing new with the JF-17. They've been doing D-level work on 3rd and 4th gen fighters for years, and the JF-17 is simply an extension of that, not really a major improvement in capability. OTOH, India has stood up an entire aerospace industry around both its foreign acquisitions, as well as its domestic LCA programme over the past 20-odd years. That approach serves not only to deliver a fighter (albeit delayed and of modest capability) but also to secure its industrial future, and by extension, its operational future. 50% of the content of the aircraft might be foreign, but 100% of the design IP is Indian, along with 50% of the component IP. You cannot put a price on owning your own FBW. That sort of thing pays off for decades, well past a single programme.



I think there is much truth in what you wrote.

Pakistan is the 22nd largest economy. Hard to imagine the world should have 22 nations with an aerospace industry big/good enough to make a front line fighter. India is #3 (or #4 if Europe is one entity).

Back to the original post ... I think Pakistan has done well, and spent it's money to buy a useful thing. I think India has not done well. It should not take so long to develop a fighter, or a fly-by-wire system, etc. I compare the development times of the LCA/Tejas to that of other nations that started from scratch. China and Israel and Brazil were able to do better. I'd rather have what Brazil has than India. Brazilian aerospace is profitable, and can complete on a world marketplace. I'm not aware of any Indian aerospace export successes. Right now (arguably) the Brazilian industrial future looks better than India's, and with much less subsidy.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:15 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
I'm not aware of any Indian aerospace export successes. Right now (arguably) the Brazilian industrial future looks better than India's, and with much less subsidy.


I will disagree. Sure Brazil is more advanced than India right now. But with the failed "merger" with Boeing, Brazil will be left behind soon.

Boeing began workin with India manufacturer since 2008. They started with small projects and built up experience. Now India private companies are building subcomponents for Boeing military and commercial aircrafts.

India built hardware includes components for the P-8A, AH-64 body sections, Ch-47 rear door ramp and other components for the 777 or 787.

Soon, if India select the F-18 for their fighter competition, then Boeing will build the planes in India as well. Sure, the planes will be of Boeing design, but all those Indian workers will be able to spread their knowledge across the aerospace sector.

Two major Boeing subcontractors are TAML and Dynamatics.

bt
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:42 pm

Domestically manufactured aircraft should increase in $$ and quantity over the next 10 years. Whether the F-18 or “F-21” etc. a line will be built there, and a lot of the tech (largely 80’s but still quality) will be acquired as such.

I’d agree their approach has differed per above significantly vs. both China and Russia. China of course was something of a Soviet client and then has used their resources to spend heavily to grow since (illicitly and licitly). The USSR was a world military superpower, and Russian/Ukrainian businesses since have struggled to sustain that advantage/position from a military aircraft perspective given their budgets.

Brazil has smartly stayed away from overly-expensive investments, and brilliantly developed systems/aircraft on the military side with Embraer, imho. I’m not sure how Pakistan could compare, but I also see Sweden in a similar position vs. Brazil.

India’s biggest problem, to my non-native eye, is that they tend to come up with huge programs, and then draw them out with politics/funding/contracting issues for way too long. As an American, I can say tongue in cheek this is probably an inheritance of our shared British cultural roots.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Tue Jan 26, 2021 11:36 pm

I'm still hoping for an answer to is there any reason to prefer the Tejas Mk 1a over the JF-17 Bock 3??
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Tue Jan 26, 2021 11:38 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
Pakistan is the 22nd largest economy. Hard to imagine the world should have 22 nations with an aerospace industry big/good enough to make a front line fighter. India is #3 (or #4 if Europe is one entity).

Much of the JF-17 is derived from earlier Chinese work or developed with Chinese support. The engine is an ancient Soviet design. Most weapon systems are imported from other countries.

If any of them cut support, your 'front line fighter' becomes useless quickly.

That said, Pakistan's defence budget is about 50% of Israel, a fellow state that has developed both nuclear weapons and fighter jets. It is also nearly twice the size of Sweden's budget, who have a long history of indigenous fighter aircraft. Clearly, Pakistan's budget is more than sufficient to develop the JF-17.

Most other countries of this size simply consider it foolish to invest this much money just to replicate products that they can buy off the shelf from a friend. Especially when your 'homegrown' fighter depends on parts from said friends.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Wed Jan 27, 2021 1:21 am

mxaxai wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Pakistan is the 22nd largest economy. Hard to imagine the world should have 22 nations with an aerospace industry big/good enough to make a front line fighter. India is #3 (or #4 if Europe is one entity).

Much of the JF-17 is derived from earlier Chinese work or developed with Chinese support. The engine is an ancient Soviet design. Most weapon systems are imported from other countries.

If any of them cut support, your 'front line fighter' becomes useless quickly.

That said, Pakistan's defence budget is about 50% of Israel, a fellow state that has developed both nuclear weapons and fighter jets. It is also nearly twice the size of Sweden's budget, who have a long history of indigenous fighter aircraft. Clearly, Pakistan's budget is more than sufficient to develop the JF-17.

Most other countries of this size simply consider it foolish to invest this much money just to replicate products that they can buy off the shelf from a friend. Especially when your 'homegrown' fighter depends on parts from said friends.


OK. But Sweden and India and Israel (back when they made jets) have the same problem. Cut off parts for the radar/engine, and it's just an expensive prop. I don't see any difference, except that the Pakistani plane is dependent on Chinese parts, and Sweden, Israel, and India are dependent on an American ones. The Tejas is as dependent on both America and Israel and the JF-17 is on China.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:54 am

mxaxai wrote:
Most other countries of this size simply consider it foolish to invest this much money just to replicate products that they can buy off the shelf from a friend. Especially when your 'homegrown' fighter depends on parts from said friends.

Correct. And most other countries aren't affected by the unique geopolitics of S.Asia, so while off the shelf is logical for them, it makes sense for China, Pak, and India to pursue (and fund) a degree of autonomy in addition to military capability.

kitplane01 wrote:
OK. But Sweden and India and Israel (back when they made jets) have the same problem. Cut off parts for the radar/engine, and it's just an expensive prop. I don't see any difference, except that the Pakistani plane is dependent on Chinese parts, and Sweden, Israel, and India are dependent on an American ones. The Tejas is as dependent on both America and Israel and the JF-17 is on China.

You're assuming dependency is a simple on/off switch. That is a mistake. Also, it's worth remembering that just as it is useful to spread domestic contracting across states to "politics-proof" programmes, it is also useful to have some level of dependency to ensure the geo-politics of a programme. When the USA gets cranky about tariffs on a few hundred million $$ worth of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, it is good to have a few billion dollars worth of leverage in the form of GE F404 and F414 engines.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Wed Jan 27, 2021 11:20 am

kitplane01 wrote:
OK. But Sweden and India and Israel (back when they made jets) have the same problem. Cut off parts for the radar/engine, and it's just an expensive prop. I don't see any difference, except that the Pakistani plane is dependent on Chinese parts, and Sweden, Israel, and India are dependent on an American ones. The Tejas is as dependent on both America and Israel and the JF-17 is on China.

Correct. The only advantage is that you spend some of the money for R&D and production domestically rather than abroad. It helps to build the knowledge if you want to go on your own in the future. Hence why Tejas is much more focused on R&D than serial production. As long as Tejas relies on US parts, they might as well buy US (or other foreign) aircraft.

In the case of China they didn't really have an exportable, cheap 4th gen fighter prior to the JF-17. So the Pakistani-Chinese partnership was useful for both sides to exchange political favors.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Thu Jan 28, 2021 5:35 am

angad84 wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
Most other countries of this size simply consider it foolish to invest this much money just to replicate products that they can buy off the shelf from a friend. Especially when your 'homegrown' fighter depends on parts from said friends.

Correct. And most other countries aren't affected by the unique geopolitics of S.Asia, so while off the shelf is logical for them, it makes sense for China, Pak, and India to pursue (and fund) a degree of autonomy in addition to military capability.


What's special about S. Asian geopolitics? Compare it to (say) the Gulf Region or ASEAN?

angad84 wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
OK. But Sweden and India and Israel (back when they made jets) have the same problem. Cut off parts for the radar/engine, and it's just an expensive prop. I don't see any difference, except that the Pakistani plane is dependent on Chinese parts, and Sweden, Israel, and India are dependent on an American ones. The Tejas is as dependent on both America and Israel and the JF-17 is on China.

You're assuming dependency is a simple on/off switch. That is a mistake. Also, it's worth remembering that just as it is useful to spread domestic contracting across states to "politics-proof" programmes, it is also useful to have some level of dependency to ensure the geo-politics of a programme. When the USA gets cranky about tariffs on a few hundred million $$ worth of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, it is good to have a few billion dollars worth of leverage in the form of GE F404 and F414 engines.



Right now India imports $50B per year from the US. Adding another 1% doesn't change much. The F404 deal is very tiny, and gives India very little extra leverage. It does give the US another way to hurt India, but doing so will make other nations notice).

And dependency for the Tejas program is binary. Either the US supplies every required engine part, or it does not. And if not, no flying once the spares are gone.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Thu Jan 28, 2021 1:38 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
What's special about S. Asian geopolitics? Compare it to (say) the Gulf Region or ASEAN?


India is the largest democracy in the region. While the political process there is messy, it is the best ally for the US in the future to counter ballance China.

While Japan may have the better equipped military, India has something no other countries mentioned, man power and better growth capabilities.

bt
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Thu Jan 28, 2021 2:59 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
What's special about S. Asian geopolitics? Compare it to (say) the Gulf Region or ASEAN?


I can't tell if this is sarcastic or not. Three nuclear powers in a constant state of friction qualifies as pretty dicey in my book. There are no treaty alliances in S.Asia, so no one coming to help if it properly kicks off.

kitplane01 wrote:
Right now India imports $50B per year from the US. Adding another 1% doesn't change much.

A single contract (Tejas Mk.1A) ensures at least a half a billion dollars in business, to say nothing of the sustainment dollars GE will rake in over the life of the aircraft. More when Mk.2 and AMCA come in.

H-D barely cracked $300MM in ten years of business, and have bowed out of the Indian market anyway (because their stuff is crap, not because of tariffs, which they got around by manufacturing a lot of their bikes in India).

kitplane01 wrote:
And dependency for the Tejas program is binary. Either the US supplies every required engine part, or it does not. And if not, no flying once the spares are gone.


Beyond the numbers game, you'd be surprised at how security-driven the US-Indian bilateral is. As bikerthai points out, the US is relying on India to balance China in Asia. They might not be treaty bound to fight India's wars, and diplomatically they will do and say everything they can to prevent war from occurring in the first place, but make no mistake, the US is heavily invested in ensuring Indian military primacy in the region.

From a programme security perspective, the US-India bilateral gives the Tejas far better prospects than a China-Pakistan alliance that remains dependent on Russia to supply and sustain powerplants.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Thu Jan 28, 2021 4:09 pm

While the Queen's English is a little more difficult to understand in India, it is still much easier to cooperate and coordinate at the working level between American and Indian engineers than a Pakistani and a Chinese engineers.

Heck the common language between a Pakistani and a Chinese engineer may just be . . . English.

Believe me, communication is utmost important for large complex projects.

bt
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Thu Jan 28, 2021 4:13 pm

angad84 wrote:
but make no mistake, the US is heavily invested in ensuring Indian military primacy in the region.


Short of the F-35, the recent F-15X approval for offer to the Indian Airf Force advances this relationship.

Oh, and the current US VP may have some influence in future relationship as well.

bt
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Mon Feb 01, 2021 9:16 pm

I've enjoyed reading this thread. Is it heresy to say that *both* Tejas and JF-17 have been successful programs for their respective countries? I won't comment on the technical specs of their performance, as that's out of my league. But as far as the program goals, I agree that goal of Tejas was to bootstrap an indigenous fighter program and industry. It was a moonshot research project which was/is expected to give rise to multiple actual production models. There's much to criticize about that approach:
-it was too much of a moonshot when it incorporated the Kaveri engine (there are fewer turbine engine manufacturers than there are jet manufacturers)
-planning a moonshot when they hard deadlines for production based on the expected retirement of the Mig bisons has left them with a serious operational deficiency
-Cooperation between the IAF/HAL/MoD/private industry left much to be desired.

But India is a large country and it's reasonable to pursue an indigenous fighter industry. Despite their initial failures, they seem to be on a better track now. I view the Mk1a as an interim, and the MkII as the real product, and it seems to be progressing reasonably well.

Pakistan is a smaller country, with a smaller economic base. And their defense budgets, despite being a higher percentage of their GDP, are still smaller than India's. In that situation, it doesn't make sense to invest a ton of money into producing a complete fighter capability, since that sunk cost won't be spread over a huge number of planes. In that situation, it's better to partner with a larger country, and invest in developing focused expertise on smaller parts of the program that you think are vital to the national interest. With those goals in mind, the JF-17 was a success: they produced a good fighter, at a low price point, quickly, and developed expertise in a few limited areas without betting their country's security on a moonshot.

Every country in the world would love to have the US's defense industry, capable of indigenously turning out cutting edge weapons. Few can afford or want the expense and burden that goes along with sustaining that. Even in the US, witness the massive criticism of the F35 program, or the ongoing criticism of the Ford-class carriers. India is now a large-enough economy, with enough security concerns to justify going it alone with Tejas. Pakistan has the same security concerns, but without the industrial base of India, probably made a wise decision in the way it organized the JF-17 program. I don't think either one can be faulted.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Mon Feb 01, 2021 9:46 pm

muralir wrote:
I've enjoyed reading this thread. Is it heresy to say that *both* Tejas and JF-17 have been successful programs for their respective countries?



It's not heresy ... but I think it's wrong.

As a fighter program it sucks.

As a moon-shot development program ... It's been 30 years and there is still no good fighter. The actual moon program was much quicker!

Pakistan spent much less, and has an actual operational fighter with more local content than the Tejas. Brazil decided to make a civil aerospace industry, and has a national champion with exportable product. China decided to spend much more and has accomplished much more. Israel decided to concentrate on missiles and drones, and has world class products in both.

Comparing the Tejas to any of these makes the Tejas look bad.

It's fair to consider the Tejas as a development program and not a production program .. but after 30 years it should have produced something! After 30 years of research you should be good at something, but I don't see what HAL can produce that cannot be bought internationally at 1/3 the price.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Mon Feb 01, 2021 10:06 pm

bikerthai wrote:
While the Queen's English is a little more difficult to understand in India, it is still much easier to cooperate and coordinate at the working level between American and Indian engineers than a Pakistani and a Chinese engineers.

bt
Americans are very familiar with "Indian" English. All the call centers are there! :D
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Tue Feb 02, 2021 6:54 pm

I'll throw in my :twocents:
In my opinion it depends on how the two nations 1 nation and a military dictatorship view the two programs.

From the Pakistani perspective, the JF-17 program objective is procuring a fighter aircraft when none of the Western or Russian governments will service their existing squadrons or sell any new upgrades. By that measure, yes it is a success.

From the Indian PoV, the Tejas program is not about a single aircraft family. Its objectives are developing an aerospace ecosystem that includes advanced design (aeronautics, materials, systems), manufacturing and incubating a strong domestic science and engineering knowledge pool. The Tejas and its variants are just one of the many outcomes. By that measure, it is proving out to be a big success.

If you want to compare just the Tejas variants with their JF-17 counterparts, feel free to do so and draw your own conclusions. But really the programs are incomparable.
 
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:07 am

golfradio wrote:
I'll throw in my :twocents:
In my opinion it depends on how the two nations 1 nation and a military dictatorship view the two programs.

From the Pakistani perspective, the JF-17 program objective is procuring a fighter aircraft when none of the Western or Russian governments will service their existing squadrons or sell any new upgrades. By that measure, yes it is a success.

From the Indian PoV, the Tejas program is not about a single aircraft family. Its objectives are developing an aerospace ecosystem that includes advanced design (aeronautics, materials, systems), manufacturing and incubating a strong domestic science and engineering knowledge pool. The Tejas and its variants are just one of the many outcomes. By that measure, it is proving out to be a big success.

If you want to compare just the Tejas variants with their JF-17 counterparts, feel free to do so and draw your own conclusions. But really the programs are incomparable.



Lets suppose your right. Lets consider the Tejas as a develop the industry program. How is it a great success? How is it more successful than Brazil or Israel, for example?
 
muralir
Posts: 161
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Wed Feb 03, 2021 1:54 am

kitplane01 wrote:
golfradio wrote:
I'll throw in my :twocents:
In my opinion it depends on how the two nations 1 nation and a military dictatorship view the two programs.

From the Pakistani perspective, the JF-17 program objective is procuring a fighter aircraft when none of the Western or Russian governments will service their existing squadrons or sell any new upgrades. By that measure, yes it is a success.

From the Indian PoV, the Tejas program is not about a single aircraft family. Its objectives are developing an aerospace ecosystem that includes advanced design (aeronautics, materials, systems), manufacturing and incubating a strong domestic science and engineering knowledge pool. The Tejas and its variants are just one of the many outcomes. By that measure, it is proving out to be a big success.

If you want to compare just the Tejas variants with their JF-17 counterparts, feel free to do so and draw your own conclusions. But really the programs are incomparable.



Lets suppose your right. Lets consider the Tejas as a develop the industry program. How is it a great success? How is it more successful than Brazil or Israel, for example?


But that's not the question you asked. Sure, Israel (I don't know much about Brazil's military programs) has a much deeper military aviation industry and tech than India. No disagreement there (although to be sure, Israel has been helped by having America be much more willing to share technology with it). But you asked about Tejas vs JF-17.

And my point was that, if you're comparing those two programs only, then perhaps we should back up a bit and consider that they're not actually comparable programs, because their respective countries have different goals.

If you want to compare strictly the specs of what is literally flying right now, then perhaps the JF-17 is better than Tejas (although I mentioned I don't personally know enough about the details, but your points about the two jets sound reasonable). Heck, even the Indian AF balked at the mk.1 and the bulk of their purchases will be the mk1a.

My question is, what about 5-10 years from now? The Tejas program has helped kickstart the Indian aviation industry, and many critical technologies (like airframe design, FBW control software, some of the avionics, etc.) have been developed which will make the next generation of fighters much easier to design. Already, we're seeing that with the MkII: it was initially planned to just be an elongated Mk1, but is now being planned as almost a cleansheet design as a medium-weight fighter. Despite starting just a few years ago, they seem to be on track to have initial prototypes in 2 years, and initial flight tests by ~2023. If they can actually meet those deadlines, that will be a tremendous improvement over the current Tejas fighters. That would not be possible if they had gone for a partnership plan similar to the JF-17.

FWIW, the Indians did have a program similar to the JF-17: the Su30. They started with importing fully built aircraft from Russia, then went to kit assembly, and finally now, HAL is responsible for full manufacturing, with 80% of components being made in India (https://eng.irkut.com/upload/Su-30MKI_eng.pdf). The initial design work commenced in 1996, the first deliveries were in 2002, and production is ongoing. Not a bad timeline.

But the Su30 program doesn't really give India the knowhow to design a new fighter and integrate all the systems. I would argue the JF-17 is the same: a program that succeeded in manufacturing an indigenous fighter, but wasn't intended to gain expertise in design and integration.

I think that's the more apples-to-apples comparison than comparing the Tejas.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Wed Feb 03, 2021 2:12 am

muralir wrote:
But that's not the question you asked. Sure, Israel (I don't know much about Brazil's military programs) has a much deeper military aviation industry and tech than India. No disagreement there (although to be sure, Israel has been helped by having America be much more willing to share technology with it). But you asked about Tejas vs JF-17.


Pick the question:
1) Comparing JF-17 vs Tejas: One has operational fighters that work and only cost $25M each. The other is a (arguably) 30 year long money pit.

2) Evaluating Tejas as an industrial development program: It's been 30 years and countless billions .. and yet no industry has been developed.

muralir wrote:
My question is, what about 5-10 years from now? The Tejas program has helped kickstart the Indian aviation industry, and many critical technologies (like airframe design, FBW control software, some of the avionics, etc.) have been developed which will make the next generation of fighters much easier to design. Already, we're seeing that with the MkII: it was initially planned to just be an elongated Mk1, but is now being planned as almost a cleansheet design as a medium-weight fighter. Despite starting just a few years ago, they seem to be on track to have initial prototypes in 2 years, and initial flight tests by ~2023. If they can actually meet those deadlines, that will be a tremendous improvement over the current Tejas fighters.


I imagine it the next five years will be just like the last five years. Large budgets, missed deadlines, and promises of future success.

Developing fly-by-wire systems in 2021 just not so impossible. Neither is airframe design. Lots of nations have done it. Building good jet engines and good radar.. that's hard but the Tejas program is not attempting that.

If you want to write about the Tejas as a development program, I think you have two options
1) Compare to their stated goals.
2) Compare to what other nations have done.
I don't see success on either comparison.
 
P47Tbolt
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:25 pm

Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Wed Feb 03, 2021 2:24 pm

Long time lurker here, giving my two cents.

Pick the question:
1) Comparing JF-17 vs Tejas: One has operational fighters that work and only cost $25M each. The other is a (arguably) 30 year long money pit.


What costs does the $25M include?
Is it assembly or airframe minus avionics and engine or airframe minus engine but with avionics?

2) Evaluating Tejas as an industrial development program: It's been 30 years and countless billions .. and yet no industry has been developed.


I wouldnt say that.
a. Uttam AESA: Home grown for Tejas, with a larger variant in the works for Su-30MKI.
b. Self Protection Jammer
c. Astra and the newly unveiled NG-CCM AAMs alongside the NG-ARM anti radiation missile.
d. Precision strike munitions like SAAW and Sudarshan
e. Critical avionics like mission computers, fly by wire, radar warning receiver, missile approach warning system, electro-optic sensors etc.
f. Inhouse airframe design

The above list is all that is needed to make an aircraft minus the engine. In short, there is a fully functional industry which is easy to ignore.
 
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kitplane01
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Posts: 2003
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Mon Feb 08, 2021 9:34 pm

P47Tbolt wrote:
Long time lurker here, giving my two cents.

Pick the question:
1) Comparing JF-17 vs Tejas: One has operational fighters that work and only cost $25M each. The other is a (arguably) 30 year long money pit.


What costs does the $25M include?
Is it assembly or airframe minus avionics and engine or airframe minus engine but with avionics?


My impression is that it's total cost.
P47Tbolt wrote:
2) Evaluating Tejas as an industrial development program: It's been 30 years and countless billions .. and yet no industry has been developed.


I wouldnt say that.
a. Uttam AESA: Home grown for Tejas, with a larger variant in the works for Su-30MKI.
b. Self Protection Jammer
c. Astra and the newly unveiled NG-CCM AAMs alongside the NG-ARM anti radiation missile.
d. Precision strike munitions like SAAW and Sudarshan
e. Critical avionics like mission computers, fly by wire, radar warning receiver, missile approach warning system, electro-optic sensors etc.
f. Inhouse airframe design

The above list is all that is needed to make an aircraft minus the engine. In short, there is a fully functional industry which is easy to ignore.


I would not call those an industry. Industry makes things. The radar, etc have been or are being developed. That's not industry, that's development. When they are being made in real quantity, that's an industry.
 
P47Tbolt
Posts: 13
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:41 am

kitplane01 wrote:
P47Tbolt wrote:
Long time lurker here, giving my two cents.

Pick the question:
1) Comparing JF-17 vs Tejas: One has operational fighters that work and only cost $25M each. The other is a (arguably) 30 year long money pit.


What costs does the $25M include?
Is it assembly or airframe minus avionics and engine or airframe minus engine but with avionics?


My impression is that it's total cost.
P47Tbolt wrote:
2) Evaluating Tejas as an industrial development program: It's been 30 years and countless billions .. and yet no industry has been developed.


I wouldnt say that.
a. Uttam AESA: Home grown for Tejas, with a larger variant in the works for Su-30MKI.
b. Self Protection Jammer
c. Astra and the newly unveiled NG-CCM AAMs alongside the NG-ARM anti radiation missile.
d. Precision strike munitions like SAAW and Sudarshan
e. Critical avionics like mission computers, fly by wire, radar warning receiver, missile approach warning system, electro-optic sensors etc.
f. Inhouse airframe design

The above list is all that is needed to make an aircraft minus the engine. In short, there is a fully functional industry which is easy to ignore.


I would not call those an industry. Industry makes things. The radar, etc have been or are being developed. That's not industry, that's development. When they are being made in real quantity, that's an industry.


Given India's pretty well settled domestic radar industry which builds radars for ships, home grown SAMs, weapon locator radars for the army, AESA radars for aircraft are just a new level to reach. Also, atleast 2 Tejas LSPs are flying with the AESA for testing before roll out on the Mk 1A.
About the cost, it does pay (actually save) to have someone else do R&D, that to piggy back on older projects like Super 7 and MiG-33 (single engined).
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:51 am

P47Tbolt wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
P47Tbolt wrote:
Long time lurker here, giving my two cents.



What costs does the $25M include?
Is it assembly or airframe minus avionics and engine or airframe minus engine but with avionics?


My impression is that it's total cost.
P47Tbolt wrote:


I wouldnt say that.
a. Uttam AESA: Home grown for Tejas, with a larger variant in the works for Su-30MKI.
b. Self Protection Jammer
c. Astra and the newly unveiled NG-CCM AAMs alongside the NG-ARM anti radiation missile.
d. Precision strike munitions like SAAW and Sudarshan
e. Critical avionics like mission computers, fly by wire, radar warning receiver, missile approach warning system, electro-optic sensors etc.
f. Inhouse airframe design

The above list is all that is needed to make an aircraft minus the engine. In short, there is a fully functional industry which is easy to ignore.


I would not call those an industry. Industry makes things. The radar, etc have been or are being developed. That's not industry, that's development. When they are being made in real quantity, that's an industry.


Given India's pretty well settled domestic radar industry which builds radars for ships, home grown SAMs, weapon locator radars for the army, AESA radars for aircraft are just a new level to reach. Also, atleast 2 Tejas LSPs are flying with the AESA for testing before roll out on the Mk 1A.
About the cost, it does pay (actually save) to have someone else do R&D, that to piggy back on older projects like Super 7 and MiG-33 (single engined).


What Indian ships have an Indian built radar? The Shivalik class frigate and Kolkata class destroyer, which I think are the newest classes of ships in the Indian navy, both use Israeli radars.
 
P47Tbolt
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:25 pm

Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:17 am

Kamorta class has BEL radars on em, Rajput class and Brahmaputra class received them during mid life refits.
 
muralir
Posts: 161
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:10 am

kitplane01 wrote:
P47Tbolt wrote:
Long time lurker here, giving my two cents.

Pick the question:
1) Comparing JF-17 vs Tejas: One has operational fighters that work and only cost $25M each. The other is a (arguably) 30 year long money pit.


What costs does the $25M include?
Is it assembly or airframe minus avionics and engine or airframe minus engine but with avionics?


My impression is that it's total cost.
P47Tbolt wrote:
2) Evaluating Tejas as an industrial development program: It's been 30 years and countless billions .. and yet no industry has been developed.


I wouldnt say that.
a. Uttam AESA: Home grown for Tejas, with a larger variant in the works for Su-30MKI.
b. Self Protection Jammer
c. Astra and the newly unveiled NG-CCM AAMs alongside the NG-ARM anti radiation missile.
d. Precision strike munitions like SAAW and Sudarshan
e. Critical avionics like mission computers, fly by wire, radar warning receiver, missile approach warning system, electro-optic sensors etc.
f. Inhouse airframe design

The above list is all that is needed to make an aircraft minus the engine. In short, there is a fully functional industry which is easy to ignore.


I would not call those an industry. Industry makes things. The radar, etc have been or are being developed. That's not industry, that's development. When they are being made in real quantity, that's an industry.


They are making these things. The Tejas Mk1, for all its warts, is now in production. That means things like avionics and the airframe are being produced. And there is a big push to try to develop an indigenous but private aviation sector, and not just have HAL vertically manufacture all of the parts. The long term goal is to have HAL serve more as a prime contractor and integrator, with a robust industry (both public and private) of subcontractors and specialist manufacturers.

You seem super focused on only the results as they stand today, with no allowance for the type of background infrastructural changes that will allow for faster and more advanced development in the future. Fair enough. But by that token, neither program is a success. The best short term plan for any country that's not US/Europe/Russia/China is to simply purchase foreign fighters. Why even build the JF-17 when France, Russia, and China are willing to sell you fully built and tested planes in flyaway condition? Having an actual plane in front of you is not the entire goal of acquisition planning. Long-term independence, development of domestic industry, etc. are also important goals that can affect long-term military effectiveness.

Very small countries simply buy fully built planes from somewhere else. At their size, it doesn't really make sense to develop a full aviation industry, even if they could. That's probably their best option. At Pakistan's size, it makes sense to develop some expertise in manufacturing, perhaps with long-term goals to do more of the design and development work in later models. That's what they did with the JF-17. And at India's size, it makes sense to try to develop an entire indigenous industry, not just manufacturing expertise (which they already have with the Su30 and MiG production lines) but start-to-finish design and R&D as well. They're doing with with Tejas. I personally think each country has tailored their programs fairly well towards their national objectives.

You've asked whether Tejas has accomplished those design goals. They have been quite delayed, and one large component of that program has been a failure, the kaveri engine. But the rest of the work appears to now be finally bearing fruit:
https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/te ... r-BB1doUje

After 30 years of developing the Tejas MkI, their development pipeline looks like this:
* Tejas MkI -> in production
* Tejas MkIA -> production beginning in 2023/24
* Tejas MkII -> production beginning in 2026
* AMCA MkI -> first flight in 2025

Of course every politician's statements should be taken with a grain of salt :-) But several of these timelines (especially the Tejas Mk1A and MkII) seem reasonable to me. That's a massive speedup in development pace, and seems to indicate that a lot of the foundational design challenges have now been solved (at least for creating 4/4.5gen fighters).

One thing I will criticize India for though, is that they embarked on this moonshot with the Tejas with no plan B. And so when Tejas stretched out so many years behind schedule, and other problems (like the naval variant having to be scrapped), they have now been left with a serious operational deficiency, which realistically won't be covered for at least a decade if not longer. That's a long time to field a depleted Air Force in one of the most volatile regions of the Earth... Perhaps simultaneously starting a less developmentally ambitious program like the JF-17 to provide enough fighters in case Tejas didn't meet its deadlines would have been the safer path.
 
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kitplane01
Topic Author
Posts: 2003
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Re: Comparing Programs: Tejas vs JF-17

Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:39 am

muralir wrote:
They are making these things. The Tejas Mk1, for all its warts, is now in production. That means things like avionics and the airframe are being produced. ...

You seem super focused on only the results as they stand today, with no allowance for the type of background infrastructural changes that will allow for faster and more advanced development in the future.
...
After 30 years of developing the Tejas MkI, their development pipeline looks like this:
* Tejas MkI -> in production
* Tejas MkIA -> production beginning in 2023/24
* Tejas MkII -> production beginning in 2026
* AMCA MkI -> first flight in 2025


After 30 years they have produced 34 airplanes. Airplanes the Air Force doesn' t want. Therefore I am focused on production.

Two questions:
1) Do you really think they will meet this schedule. Hint: If you say yes, I'll mention past history.
2) Is this really what they were hoping for? Is this really success as they would have defined it? Is it even close?

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